Honey, I Will Never Bail on You

Honey, I Will Never Bail on You

To the One that I Love,

When I stood across from you as we spoke our vows, it was easy to give you all of my love and my whole heart. You were the perfect one for me, and in those brief moments at the alter, I felt complete. I was completely sure of my decision to vow my life to you, not in a commitment, as long as you make me happy, kind of way, but in that deep, everlasting, sickness and health, covenant kind of way.

I meant every word I said as I declared my love for you.

As the years have flown by, our emotions have flowed in and out like the waves of the ocean. At times, those waters have been serene and calm like a beautiful sheet of glass, but they have also seen days of raging like a violent storm. It is in those raging moments that I promise to you that I will always recall that day on the altar. 

I must. 

I must, because my emotions are fleeting, my desires are ever changing, and the circumstances of life are out of my control. That day at the altar, the words that flowed out of my mouth between you, me, and our God, they became the anchor of our marriage. I will rely on that covenant to always keep us afloat, even in the stormy seasons.

Honey, I will never bail on you.

I won’t bail because I know the quirks that you have, the ones that drive me nuts, are there to make me better. They call out a grace in me that I might not ever tap into without you. The way you leave your clothes on the floor, or leave the gas tank empty, or the countless coffee cups that have left rings on the table from sitting out all day, those things, as crazy as they seem, they make me better.

It is in those things that I am able to recognize that you have a need for me. I can see that I help you with organization, with being on time, with putting things away that never make it on your radar as you step right over them everyday. I see that I can make your life better by staffing your weaknesses and by showing you the deep love that only grace can offer. I know that I have a need for you too. You bring balance to my life that I often forget I even need.

Honey, I will never bail on you.

The arguments we have provide me opportunity for growth. They help mold me and shape me to become more like Christ. They ask me to level up in my faith and maturity. They encourage me to focus on solutions instead of on giving up. I need the challenge of us so I don’t ever become stagnant in my growth. 

Honey, I will never bail on you.

We were once two that have become one. You are a piece of me, tightly woven together by God himself. I have to choose to fight for you, for us, because in that I am also fighting for myself, perhaps in a way that no one else ever had. 

You were a gift to me, even on days when it doesn’t feel like it. You are the key to making me better. You are the one placed in my life to iron out my wrinkles, inspire the great things I am to become, and to simply walk alongside me. You are part of my healing and my celebration journey.

I won’t bail on you because I acknowledge that there is a greater purpose at work amongst us. One that holds us to the fire to burn away all the rough edges, to refine us and to show the world how Christ loves His own bride, the church. How could I ever allow the world to miss that? Bailing on you, would mean bailing on me, and ultimately it would mean bailing on God, and at the very least, He doesn’t deserve that.

Honey, I will never bail on you.

I won’t ever bail on you because I am not happy, because our marriage is hard, because we have a crisis, because you get sick, or because you go through a trial that changes who you are for season. All of those things call me to a greater love, a sacrificial love, just like the love Jesus came to give us all. And just as He once spread out His arms open wide, inviting us all in to receive the forgiveness and grace, I will always choose to open my arms to you, inviting you in, reminding you…that,

Honey, I will never bail on you.

Because, even in our darkest season and deepest pain,  Christ will never bail on us.

How NOT To Solve Problems

How NOT To Solve Problems

We’re not guaranteed a lot in life, but one thing we know for sure is that we will have problems. (John 16:33)

Therefore, it’s important to know that when those problems show up, there are right ways and there are wrong ways to handle them. The approach we choose will get us closer to a resolution, or it will get us farther from one, while also getting us farther apart from one another. 

None of us want that! So….

Here are a few things you want to try to avoid when those pesky problems come up. 

Don’t ignore them! Much to your dismay, problems don’t miraculously go away if you deny them. In fact, they can multiply. Denying problems forces you to continuously stay on alert by being ready to run again and again, because you know that they’re always right behind you. That is exhausting work. Besides, let’s be real, you’re just not that naive. You may try, but you can’t convince yourself there’s not a problem when you know full well that there is. You can run, but the truth is, you really can’t hide. Your problems will find you.

Don’t minimize them! If you find yourself justifying or excusing away a problem, or a behavior of your spouse, and often say or think things like, “He’s just tired and had a bad day”, “She only drinks to relax”, or “They didn’t really mean that”, then you are likely in the trap of minimizing. You’re trying to tell yourself that the problem really isn’t as big of a deal as you’re making it out to be. In essence, you’re believing that the problem really is you. You especially need to deal with it if your spouse has convinced you of that (that is an entirely different blog post). Nonetheless, minimization needs to be kicked out of your marriage. 

Don’t accept them! There is no need to accept problems in your marriage. We’re all going to have them and there’s no reason for just accepting them as the status quo. Tolerating problems and believing that change is impossible won’t do anything other than postpone more pain. Giving up and settling for misery will never be a win for either of you. Eventually you will run out of tolerance and end up extremely bitter or extremely hopeless. 

We don’t want any of these things for your marriage, and you shouldn’t either. There are healthy ways to deal with problems, and even if you don’t know all of them yet, even an attempt to deal with them is better than any of the above. 

Lastly, no matter what, when problems come your way, don’t be riddled with fear. You can take heart and know that even when you aren’t sure how to find the answers or solutions, God is. And, if you get lost along the way, we’re here for you too! 

Enjoy the Journey!
Chris & Jamie

3 Marital Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

3 Marital Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

Marriage is a journey. A journey that can be a beautiful ride, and a journey that can also get a little bumpy. You don’t even need to do anything different than you normally do, and all of a sudden you’re off roading and tightening up your seat belts. Why is that? 

Well, because…LIFE.

Life just happens sometimes, and you have no control over that. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the times when you do have some control. No matter what life decides to do, you will always have choices in your marriage, and we want to help you choose the smooth road over the bumpy, pot hole filled one, whenever possible. 

Here are 3 cautionary signs to look out for as you travel this journey together. These are your signals that it’s time to be on guard and prepared to make good choices, instead of mistakes.

Demanding problems. Problems are loud, and they are always seeking center stage. It’s necessary that they get the attention they need, but they also don’t need as much attention as they demand. When they come up, you must intentionally choose to identify the problem and then be sure to give more of your time to finding a solution instead of fixating on the problem. 

Be willing to identify the problem without getting stuck on the symptoms, and then take the next step of formulating a solution. Take the time to agree now that you will be a solutions focused couple, instead of a problem catastrophizing one. Work together as a team. Don’t make the mistake of allowing it to be you two amidst a problem and against each other, but instead, let it be you two against the problem..

If only. There’s a big appeal to comparison nowadays. We’re all aware of social media and the good and bad that it brings with it. Be cautious over feelings of “if only”. If only we were like, “the Jones””, “if only” we had a vacation home, or “if only” my spouse planned a vacation for us. Falling prey to the “if only’s” is like getting stuck in a roundabout. You will never arrive as long as the target is not your destination, and as long as it’s constantly moving. Stay in your lane and on your path as a couple. Let everyone else do their own thing. Their journey is different than yours, and that’s exactly how it should be.

Hurrying. When you feel like things are taking too long to get better, keep in mind that change takes time. Your marriage will always be a work in progress. Don’t get caught up in thinking that 2 steps forward, one step backwards is a bad thing. Give each other grace and time to make adjustments, to meet goals or to learn new things. Give your problems time to be repaired. Most things in your marriage won’t be immediate. That’s ok. Don’t rush change and don’t give up because it’s not happening fast enough. 

All things said and done, if you want to keep moving forward in your marriage, especially during the hard times, be prepared and solution focused for the hard times, keep jealousy and envy at bay, and add lots of patience and grace for one another. Don’t let discouragement take over. 

Marriage is a wonderful journey and it’s meant to be filled with all the things; love, patience, frustration, refining, redemption, joy, goodness, all of it. Take your time in it. Savor the ride and keep growing it and building it. Make good choices for your marriage.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9

Enjoy the Journey!